The New York Times will launch a paywall next Monday, but for Yalies, free access to “all the news that’s fit to print” will be just a few extra clicks away.
Starting March 28, the Times will limit non-subscribers to 20 free online articles each month. Yale students will still have access to the Times’ online image edition — which features the newspaper in its original color print format dating back to May 2010, when the library started its subscription — through the library’s website. While only three of 20 students interviewed said they knew the library subscribed to the Times’ image edition, and only one had ever used it, half said they will turn to the library for access once the paywall is enacted.
“For [Yale] users looking for replacement for the Web page,” said Gregory Eow, a history librarian who helps manage online subscriptions, “really the only thing that would be comparable would be the New York Times image edition.”
Eow said he hopes more students will turn to the library’s online version of the Times now that the newspaper is restricting access. The image edition allows users to flip through page by page and search for keywords, he added.
Ann Okerson, associate University librarian and head of library collections, said the library pays for digital Times access from its own budget. The newspaper will still be available via the library website to students logged onto Yale’s networks, she said. Those accessing the Times off campus can log in through the library’s site using their netIDs, Eow added.
Ten students said they would now use the library website to read the Times, and one said he would have bought a subscription to the Times had he remained unaware of the library option.
“I think that we as university students should get some sort of deal,” Jennifer Friedmann ’13 said of the paywall. “I hope the library grants full access to the [Times] website.”
Eow said this might be an option if the Times begins an online institutional access program. The Times has not yet offered such access. When Princeton University lobbied for universitywide access the last time the Times experimented with a paywall in 2005, the Times turned down the deal, Eow added.
Jacy Tackett ’13 said clicking through the library site would be too inconvenient, adding that she will seek out other news sources.
Eow added that the library already offers access to the Times through a number of aggregators, such as LexisNexis, which requires users to scroll through individual article titles.
Still, some students prefer other methods of access to the Times. Students whose families are subscribe to home delivery service can continue to access online content — including the iPad app — for free.
“[The Times online] is the one news source I have,” said Tony Reyes ’11. “Unless I start using the library page, I will again become an uninformed American.”
While print editions of the Times will still be available in the library and dining halls, Eow said, the library has maintained fewer subscriptions to print newspapers overall since it vacated its newspaper room in Sterling Memorial Library last summer. Online subscriptions have increased since then, he said, adding that international newspapers are also available through the library site.
The Times will charge subscribers $15 every four weeks for Web and smartphone access, $20 every four weeks for Web access and the iPad app, and $35 every four weeks for Web, tablet and smartphone access.